The Souls of China: The return of religion after Mao by Ian Johnson

Reviewed by
December 2017, no. 397
David Brophy reviews 'The Souls of China: The return of religion after Mao' by Ian Johnson

The Souls of China: The return of religion after Mao

by Ian Johnson

Allen Lane, $55 hb, 480 pp, 9780241305270

The Souls of China: The return of religion after Mao by Ian Johnson

Reviewed by
December 2017, no. 397

In 1989, as the Chinese Communist Party came to terms with the ongoing significance of religion in post-Mao China, they needed a new formula to explain its survival. Religion was, they said, a long-term phenomenon. It had a mass base; it had national dimensions, in that some of China’s nationalities identified strongly with particular religions; but it also had international dimensions – religious ties linked believers to communities outside China. Reaching the end of the list, the bureaucrats seem to have simply thrown up their hands: religion was, they said, complicated.

David Brophy reviews 'The Souls of China: The return of religion after Mao' by Ian Johnson

The Souls of China: The return of religion after Mao

by Ian Johnson

Allen Lane, $55 hb, 480 pp, 9780241305270

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